South County Dublin
Pro-bin tax parties face election trial
Five weeks into the battle against non-collection in South Dublin County Council, the general significance of the battle against bin charges is clear. The mass opposition to double taxation is uniform across Dublin and remains strong.
By Paul Murphy
Non-collection occurs in the morning when most people are at work. This along with legal threats, and the effect of the previous jailings of campaigners from these communities has hampered the Campaign's ability to mobilise the hundreds that would be necessary to defy the court threats and stop non-collection.
Many people feel they have no choice but to pay the tax. Nonetheless, a significant minority of people continue to boycott the tax, arranging for their rubbish to be disposed of in other ways, or throwing their waste in the back of the bin trucks as they come around.
The primary task for the Campaign now, while continuing to resist non-collection on the ground, is to ensure that double taxation remains a central political issue in the area.
The threatened introduction of water charges would have a big effect on the mood of ordinary people and the active boycott by the majority of the tag system at least for a short period of time could come back on the agenda.
The local elections will be seen by many in South Dublin and across Dublin as an opportunity to punish the establishment parties for their imposition of double taxation and non-collection.
Where there are strong local campaigns, which have been able to mobilise serious opposition to the bin tax, they should consider the endorsement of genuine anti-bin tax activists as candidates to give political expression to the massive anger that exists.
In the Council areas yet to experience non-collection, the lesson from South Dublin is clear - what is needed is the active response of significant numbers of people on the ground to push back the Council immediately.